The light streaming in from the sides of Taylor's poorly measured blackout curtains wakes her before her natural alarm clock app has a chance to. This has been happening more and more lately. She wonders if it would help to have her private Soul Cycle instructor come seven days a week as opposed to the six day a week schedule she's maintained for the past five years. While on one hand, she does love her Sunday cheat days with Lena and the girls, she also knows that exercise helps her sleep, and she hasn't been getting much of that lately.
Rolling over three times in her Casper king to pluck her iPhone out of the charger on her nightstand,
she opens the notes app and makes three reminders for herself:
1) Tell assistant to find someone to come in and hang new blackouts.
2) Tell assistant to order silk eye mask.
3) Tell assistant to have someone come in to figure out what that noise is.
Aside from the stress of her hectic schedule, which is about to get even more so following the release of her new single, Taylor has been having intense nightmares. She picked up a journal at Walgreens last week while buying extra small tampons and Loves Baby Soft perfume, and has gotten into the habit of keeping it by her bed so she can write down these dreams after she wakes up, but she only ever remembers them in bits and flashes. The journal, as of now, is blank. If she DID write down the things she remembers, the pages would be filled with nonsensical scrawls like "microphone shoved in butt," and "ghost that looks like K, but also, the other K, but also D." She shudders to imagine how much her assistant, who has been a real cunt lately, or her housekeeping staff, would get from TMZ if that were to be discovered. Better to leave the journal blank. Sometimes even just flipping through the eggshell pages jars her memory. As she processes all of this, and is just about to hop out of bed to make her way down for her greens smoothie, the pen next to the unused dream journal makes several full rotations on the nightstand, as though some unseen force spun it like a top. Taylor watches this is horror, her hand clasped over her mouth. Rather than exit the bed to either side, she crawls backwards to the end and gets off there, then exits the room in a reserved panic. She doesn't make it past two stairs leading down to the main level of her Beverly Hills home before she hears it. That noise. Coming from somewhere in her room.
The sound is something like an old-timey broom being slowly raked across the wood floors, or a breathy, elongated pantomime noise of someone sinking a basket. Neither of these make sense, and there's no explanation for what could be making this noise, but Taylor has been hearing it for a long time now and it's driving her insane. She thinks she might actually be going insane. First the dreams about the, (she can hardly think about it), microphone in her butthole, and now this NOISE! She realizes that she said the last part out loud.
"What noise, Miss?" It's Linda, her main housekeeper. A lovely lady whom Taylor rescued from her previous job at Whole Foods.
"Have you not heard it, Linda?" Taylor asks, wide-eyed.
"I hear all kinds of things in this house, Miss. All of the windows are open to let in the breeze, like you like. It can be quite loud in here at times."
Taylor allows herself to believe that Linda must be right. A breeze could have caused that pen on her nightstand to move like it just did, and a breeze could be causing that noise in her room too. This is a much more comfortable solution than the one Taylor knows is the truth: her bedroom is haunted by the ghost of K's mom.
Now sitting at the kitchen island, waiting for her greens smoothie to be made by, someone, she calls her manager Brad and reaches him just as he's about to leave his New York office.
"Tay," Brad doesn't even get her name out before Taylor cuts him off.
"We need to change the release date for the new album, Brad. We can't have it come out on the 10th anymore. We need to change it now."
"That's not possible Taylor," Brad says with as much authority as he can muster to the young blonde who makes 20 times more a year than he does. "It's already been sent to the printing plant. The launch schedule is already well underway."
"Then pull it," Taylor says. "Pull everything, like we did with Spotify. I don't care what you have to do but I'm telling you now that if we keep the release date as November 10th I will not do one MINUTE's worth of press for it. I'll pretend it never happened. And YOU will be out of a job, Brad."
Brad told Taylor he'd see what he can do, and ended the call.
Valerie, one of Taylor's other housekeepers, reaches across the kitchen island to hand her her smoothie, but her sleeve gets caught on something and it spills, some of it trickling over the edge onto Taylor's new riding boots.
"LOOK WHAT YOU DID!!" Taylor lashes out at the woman, eyes on fire. "NOW I HAVE TO CHANGE AND I'M ALREADY RUNNING LATE!"
Taylor makes Valerie ease the soiled boots off of her feet and has her throw them in the donation bin that's set up next to the compost bin towards the back of the kitchen.
Taylor storms back up to her room to pick out another pair of boots, a process that will take her a good amount of time. She's so distracted that she forgets about the activity that had taken place earlier in that room. She's quickly reminded.
As soon as her socked foot crosses the threshold of her master suite the door shuts behind her by itself. Frozen in fear she notices that the temperature of the room has dropped what feels like 30 degrees. She tries to move her body but she can't. Some force has got her in its clutches.
The pen on her nightstand, the one that she had seen move by itself, flies through the air and smacks Taylor in the ear. She wants to cry out, but her lips won't open. She sees something coming towards her from the left of the room, but she can't turn her head to look at it. Her neck won't move. A heavy fog surrounds her and then takes shape right before her eyes. It's Donda, K's mom. Taylor move's her eyes down to Donda's hands and sees that she's holding a microphone then, to her horror, she feels her skinny jeans being peeled off by invisible hands.
"Aint no one gonna wanna take this microphone from you now. Dumb bitch." Donda says as she moves closer with the microphone.
The last thing Taylor sees are the words "Look what you made me do" appearing letter by letter in white dripping paint on her still drawn blackout curtains.